Daniel Pipes has been documenting Prince Charles’ relationship to Islam, examining the possibility that he has secretly converted to Islam. Here are some extracts:
In a 1997 Middle East Quarterly article titled “Prince Charles of Arabia,” Ronni L. Gordon and David M. Stillman looked at evidence that Britain’s crown prince might be a secret convert to Islam. They shifted through his public statements (defending Islamic law, praising the status of Muslim women, seeing in Islam a solution for Britain’s ailments) and actions (setting up a panel of twelve “wise men” to advise him on Islamic religion and culture), then concluded that, “should Charles persist in his admiration of Islam and defamation of his own culture,” his accession to the throne will indeed usher in a “different kind of monarchy.”
“some deeply evil influence has been brought to bear on these impressionable young minds. … Some may think this cause is Islam. It is anything but. It is a perversion of traditional Islam. As I understand it, Islam preaches humanity, tolerance and a sense of community… it is vital that everyone resists the temptation to condemn the Muslim community for the actions of such a tiny and evil minority…”
Oct. 29, 2005: “Prince Charles to plead Islam’s cause to Bush” … the Prince of Wales will try to persuade George W Bush and Americans of the merits of Islam because he thinks the US has been too intolerant of the religion since September 11. The Prince has voiced private concerns over America’s “confrontational” approach to Muslim countries and its failure to appreciate Islam’s strengths.
Apparently, he “wants Americans – including Mr Bush – to share his fondness for Islam.”
Nov. 5, 2005: Sharp-tongued Julie Burchill asks in “What’s not to like about Islam if you’re the Prince of Wales,“
I wonder why Prince Charles seeks to big up powerful, theocratic Islam — which already controls so much land and wealth and yet will kill and kill to gain more — and not vulnerable, pluralistic Israel? Why doesn’t he invest as much energy in defence of the persecuted and murdered Christians who suffer for their beliefs under Islamic regimes?
Well, I think I know why; because cleaving to Islam is the one way that men who wish to appear liberal and enlightened can promote reactionary ideas. Monarch-worshipping, woman-oppressing, non-democratic — what’s there not for Charles to like?
Mar. 21, 2006: Charles weighed in on the Muhammad cartoon controversy, telling an audience of more than 800 Islamic scholars at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University… that “The recent ghastly strife and anger over the Danish cartoons shows the danger that comes of our failure to listen and to respect what is precious and sacred to others.
Mar. 25, 2006: As the first Westerner ever to address the Islamic University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Charles chose to give Muslims some advice about modernizing their religion. Note the “we” in the following quote: “I think we need to recover the depth, the subtlety, the generosity of imagination, the respect for wisdom that so marked Islam in its great ages.” He also said Jews and Christians should learn from Islamic teachings:
May 26, 2007: A world premier performance. Sir John Tavener’s major new work, The Beautiful Names … sets the 99 names for Allah as culled from the Qu’ran, sung in Arabic… Program notes … the work was commissioned by HRH The Prince Of Wales.”
June 10, 2010: Charles says the West must learn environmental policies from Islam. In a speech on “Islam and the Environment” at Oxford University’s Centre for Islamic Studies… he argued that man’s destruction of the world was contrary to the scriptures of all religions – but particularly those of Islam and spoke in depth about his own study of the Koran which, he said, tells its followers that there is ‘no separation between man and nature’ ….”
Mar. 14, 2013: Charles has been taking Arabic lessons, he acknowledged on a trip to Qatar. The Daily Telegraph (London) tells the story:
The Prince was in Doha attending the launch of the Qatar-UK Alumni Network, for Qataris who have attended British universities…
Dr Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada…asked the Prince if he spoke any Arabic, and the Prince said:
“I tried to learn it once but I gave up. It goes in one ear and out the other.”
Later, one of the Prince’s aides confirmed that he has been having lessons in Arabic recently, adding:
“He is enormously interested in the region.”
Comments: (1) Curious that the prince would travel the whole way to Qatar for something as minuscule as the launch of the Qatar-UK Alumni Network; that he did would seem to confirm either Qatar’s prowess in Great Britain or Charles’ affection for the Middle East, or both. (2) To see the connection between learning Arabic and conversion to Islam, see my lengthy blog at “The Arabist and Islamist Baggage of Arabic Language Instruction.”
Dec. 18, 2013: In a surprise reversal, Prince Charles focused on the tribulations of Middle Eastern Christians at Islamist hands while visiting the British branches of the Egyptian and Syriac churches.
We cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately attacked by fundamentalist Islamist militants. For 20 years, I have tried to build bridges between Islam and Christianity and to dispel ignorance and misunderstanding. The point though, surely, is that we have now reached a crisis where the bridges are rapidly being deliberately destroyed by those with a vested interest in doing so. This is achieved through intimidation, false accusation and organised persecution, including to Christian communities in the Middle East. Christianity was, literally, born in the Middle East and we must not forget our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ.
Comment: Has something happened to open Charles’ eyes to the dangers of Islamism? If so, this could be an important portent for Great Britain.
May 1, 2014: A new retelling of the Rushdie affair quotes Martin Amis on the 1989 reaction of Prince Charles to the Khomeini edict against Rushdie:
I had an argument with Prince Charles at a small dinner party. He said—very typically, it seems to me—”I’m sorry, but if someone insults someone else’s deepest convictions, well then,” blah blah blah …
Nov. 5, 2014: Prince Charles recorded a video message calling on Muslim leaders not to remain silent about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
It is an indescribable tragedy that Christianity is now under such threat in the Middle East – an area where Christians have lived for 2,000 years, and across which Islam spread in 700 AD, with people of different faiths living together peaceably for centuries…rather than remaining silent, faith leaders have a responsibility to ensure that people within their own tradition respect people from other faith traditions.
The report, from Sky News, goes on:
Charles said he did not want to be seen as Defender of the Faith, the title held by each monarch since Henry VIII, but as Defender of Faith in general. But he maintained that this conviction was rooted in his own Christian faith.
“My own Christian faith has enabled me to speak to, and to listen to, people from other traditions, including Islam.”
Comments: (1) To my knowledge, in the 17 years I have been following the topic of Charles and Islam, he has never made such a statement in which he forthrightly mentions his Christian faith as he does here. (2) Charles’ willingness to speak out on this topic is a possibly significant signal of a change in mood toward Muslims and Islam in the UK.
So it seems that by the end of 2013, Charles is finally waking up to the plight of his fellow Christians under Islam. However, considering his response to the Rushdie affair and his comment after the Danish cartoons, that it “shows the danger that comes of our failure to listen and to respect what is precious and sacred to others”, he is unlikely to say, “Je Suis Charlie”.
Now let’s look at Charles’ relationship with Israel and the Jews. His 2013 statement,
“Christianity was, literally, born in the Middle East”
was ambiguous, as it did not specify that Jesus was Jewish and born in Judea, but could just as easily imply that Jesus was ‘Palestinian’, as many Muslims claim. The only time he visited Israel was in 1995 for the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin, when he stayed for just 24 hours. No member of the royal family has made an official visit to Israel, the birthplace of the Christianity they supposedly represent, yet they have made numerous visits to Arab countries.
Why is this so? In 2007, Leaked emails between senior Clarence House staff helps to explain the Royal Family’s attitude towards Israel:
Exchanges between Sir Michael Peat, the Prince’s principal secretary, and Clive Alderton, Sir Michael’s deputy, contained apparently disparaging remarks about the Jewish state.
Earlier this year the Israeli embassy invited the two senior aides to Israel for a four-day visit as guests of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.
Sir Michael initially replied enthusiastically, saying: “The invitation is hugely appreciated and Clive and I would love to come.”
The comments which have caused offence came a month later in an exchange of emails between Mr Alderton and Sir Michael… where Alderton complains of being “pursued” by the ambassador and says to his boss:
“Safe to assume there is no chance of this visit ever actually happening?
“Acceptance would make it hard to avoid the many ways in which Israel would want HRH [Prince Charles] to help burnish its international image.
“In which case, let’s agree a way to lower his expectations.”
David Rowan, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, said that the comments “raise serious questions about both the culture within [the Prince’s] office and assumptions that senior staff seem to hold about the Jewish state”.
He said that the emails are “even more troubling when one considers that, just two weeks ago, the Prince’s mother hosted a glittering state banquet for Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, attended by the senior British royals.”
The view that the royals hold disdain for Israel was reinforced in 2013 by Victor Sharpe:
”Prince Charles is currently on an official visit to Jordan, Oman and Qatar. But stepping foot in nearby Israel by any member of the British royal family is officially banned by the British Foreign Office.
Prince Charles’ latest trip is one more of the many routine visits by various members of the royal family to the Muslim Arab countries of the Middle East organized for them by the Foreign Office in successive British governments. Yet the same royals are never sent to Israel and one wonders if any of them ever express a desire to visit the Jewish state. If they do, no doubt the Foreign Office slaps them down quickly for fear that such a visit would upset their Arab and Muslim trading partners…
It was just over a year ago that the Countess of Wessex, wife to Prince Edward, was embroiled in a scandal after she had accepted a lavish set of gems and a solid silver and pearl cup from the Bharaini royal family during her visit to the Persian Gulf state.
Apart from accepting the gifts – or what some have described as bribes – Bahrain was wracked by demonstrations during the so-called Arab Spring in which fifty people were killed and many more arrested and tortured. Under such circumstances, perhaps the extravagant gifts should be returned by Buckingham Palace.
… Back in 2007, the Duchess of Cornwall was given similar gifts by the Saudi royal family including three separate suites of jewels, also estimated at $3.5 million.
So for the happy Royals, endlessly jetting off to some of the most despotic and autocratic regimes in the world, it is fair game. Visiting the only true democracy in the Middle East, however, is off limits.
This British ban on royals visiting Israel is no different than the divestment and boycott campaign against the Jewish state by pro-Palestinian Israel haters and by the Left. The lordly mandarins of the Foreign Office, influenced by the corrosive presence of the Arabists amongst them, maintain this outrageous boycott of Israel and have done so for 65 years since the Jewish state’s 1948 rebirth as a nation in its ancestral and biblical homeland.
Queen Elizabeth… has made some 250 overseas visits attending, among others Sudan, Libya, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iran, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia – including some of the most deplorable human rights abusers on earth. But a state visit to Israel, where she would be showered with immense affection by its people, is tragically out of the question.
So what would happen if, just once, Prince Charles ignored his Foreign Office handlers and made the moral choice to cross that bridge over the River Jordan?
So while it’s unlikely that Charles will declare “Je Suis Charlie” in response to the massacre of the Paris journalists, even less likely is that he would declare “Je Suis Juif” in response to the Jewish supermarket massacre in Paris!